Meet the Jabalpur man with the rarest of blood groups – ‘Ael’

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Think AB negative is a rare blood group? After all, just one per cent of donors have this group. Even more rare is the Bombay blood group, which is found in four in a million.

But here comes news of an even rarer group – Ael – identified in a blood donor at an Ahmedabad hospital, perhaps the first documented case of this group in the country.

On Wednesday, Shalby Multispecialty Hospitals in Ahmedabad disclosed that it had identified the extremely rare ‘Ael’ group in one of its voluntary blood donors, who till now was mistakenly donating blood under the belief that his group was O negative.

Discrepant results
Aman Jain, 30, a resident of Jabalpur, Madhya Pradesh, had volunteered to donate blood at the hospital, which noticed discrepant results in the blood sample. It sent the blood specimen to the Lok Samarpan Blood Bank in Surat for further investigations, which revealed that the donor had Ael.

According to pathologists, there are barely 40 to 50 people in the world with Ael blood group, most of whom are in South-East Asia. Ael has the least amount of A antigen among A subgroups and can only be detected through special tests.

Gel technology
A ten times donor, Jain’s true blood group had not been identified till now — but surfaced this time because Shalby Hospitals used a more advanced technique to test the sample.

Speaking to Businessline, Nishita Shukla, Group COO, Shalby Multispecialty Hospitals, said, “We have very high-end technology to find out accurate and precise blood groups. For blood tests, we use the more accurate gel technology.”

“This donor can receive blood from O Group, but can donate only to A Group,” said Shukla.

There are no documented reports on any complications in those who received Jain’s donated blood.

There are a few other rare blood groups and rare phenotypes reported from India including Bombay group, Indian blood group phenotypes like In(a+), In(b-), In5- (INRA-), and other rare phenotypes like Colton-null, Emm-null, P-null, and Rh-null — many of which have been discovered among Gujaratis.